Advanced technologies offer ways of reducing the quantity of nuclear waste.
“New types of nuclear power plants can switch to a closed fuel cycle. It means that nuclear waste wouldn’t be buried as such; instead, it would be chemically dissolved and the recyclable component re-processed into new fuel. As a result, many of the most long-lived radioactive substances could be used at new types of facilities,” says Professor Riitta Kyrki-Rajamäki of Lappeenranta University of Technology.
Professor Kyrki-Rajamäki heads the New Type Nuclear Reactors project which is part of the Sustainable Energy Research Programme launched by the Academy of Finland. Very much different from the existing light water reactors, the new types of reactors have already attracted worldwide interest.
The New Type Nuclear Reactors project studies what is known as ‘fourth-generation nuclear reactors’. The purpose of the project is to improve the analysis capabilities in view of these Gen IV reactors — in other words, the development and application of new computational and experimental methodologies for studying the reactors. The main fields of science involved are reactor physics, reactor dynamics, materials technology, thermal hydraulics, and computational fluid dynamics.
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